§ Mr. Spearing
To ask the Secretary of State for Health what is the basis of her calculations that the initial annual cost of retraining doctors consequent to her proposed Medical Act will be £530,000; and on what number of doctors, whose performance is likely to be judged seriously deficient it is based. 
§ Mr. Malone
The explanatory and financial memorandum of the Medical (Professional Performance) Bill states that any increase in the General Medical Council retention fee—to cover the cost to the GMC of the new performance procedures—and the costs of remedial training undertaken by doctors to improve their standard of professional performance are expected to increase national health service expenditure by up to £530,000 a year. Of this, the estimated retraining costs are £280,000. The GMC estimates that 100 to 150 doctors a year might be subject to assessment under the new procedures, of whom 50 to 75 might be subject to remedial training or sanction.
The costs of retraining would vary widely, according to individual need, and would not necessarily be borne by the NHS. The figure of £280,000 was a central estimate after considering a range of possible scenarios; it is very small in proportion to the funds already available to hospital doctors and general practitioners who maintain their professional standards through continuing education.